Website Agenda - Rhetoric


Teacher: Mr. Castagneto

E-mail: castagneto_stephen@svvsd.org

Course Description:

Rhetoric is intended to present the basics, the foundational information and introduction to answer the questions “What is rhetoric? and “How can I apply the foundational elements of rhetoric into my writing? We will study the definitions and uses for rhetorical elements both in history and application. Reading the works of Aristotle will be followed by excerpts from E. Corbett’s Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student focusing on the Five Canons of Rhetoric. The studies will be applied to analytical writing assignments as well as following contemporary schemes and tropes. Finally, real world applications in speech craft, oratory, political, media and advertising writing will be addressed and practiced. The class culminates in a two-part project that requires the application of learned, written rhetorical skills and two class presentations.

Readings: In this course, we will use a varied collection of readings, supplemented frequently with additional materials from other sources. Timely reading is critical both for achievement as an individual student in this class, and for the success of the course as a whole. The reading load in this course is reasonable. As a result, students are strongly expected to come to class having read the material carefully, thought about it, and prepared to discuss it in class. Failure to do so will result in lessened comprehension of class lectures, poorer exam performance, and a lower participation grade.

Course Requirements and Grading: Grades for this course will be determined by a combination of three factors: in-class examinations, independent essays, class participation, and homework.

Students will also be responsible for a two-part project . Assigned essay topics will be distributed at least one week prior to the due date for the papers. Essays should be approximately three or four typed pages (900-1200 words) in length, double-spaced, and 12 Point Type. Students will be expected to incorporate material from the assigned readings. These papers will be graded according to the soundness and intellectual rigor of their argument, their use of relevant class material (both from reading and lecture), and the quality of their written expression.

Finally, class participation is a very valuable part of the learning experience in this course. Questions are welcomed, and time will often be set aside for discussion. Students are expected to come to class prepared to share their questions, comments, criticisms, and insights with others.

Please turn in assignments and projects on time, failure to do so will result in a 20% late penalty. Late assignments may be turned in until the end of a unit.

Grading Breakdown:

Summative (tests, large projects, etc.) … 70%

Formative (Homework, quizzes, etc.) ….. 30%

Honor Code: The student code governs all student work in this course, both in class and outside of the classroom. Plagiarism, cheating, and outside aid are violations and punishable by a failing grade for that assignment/test/etc.

Course Plan is as follows:

Section I: The definitions of Rhetoric (General and Classical)

A Study of the writings of Aristotle and his contemporaries


2. Writing with Clarity & Style (and repetition)

3. Fundamentals of Rhetoric

4. Modes of Persuasion: logos


2. Writing with Clarity & Style (and repetition)

3. Speech Analyses

4. Fundamentals of Rhetoric

5. Modes of Persuasion: ethos

Section III: 1. STYLE

2. Writing with Clarity & Style (and repetition)

3. Speech Analysis

4. Fundamentals of Rhetoric

5. Modes of Persuasion: pathos

6. Review Modes of Persuasion and modern applications